Acceleration of Digital Transformation
The Covid-19 global pandemic has accelerated the adoption and execution of digital transformation solutions across the globe.
In early 2020 when the pandemic initially hit, brick and mortar retailers had to quickly shift to optimize their online presence, and companies worldwide had to think innovatively to survive in such a trying time.
How Did Companies Respond?
Companies responded by introducing new ways for customers to interact with them through digital channels. The digitization of customer and supply chain interactions, and internal operations accelerated by three to four years throughout the pandemic, and the share of digitally enabled products accelerated by seven years.
Brands who elevated their digital offerings and online presence were able to not only survive, but thrive as consumers’ purchasing behavior shifted towards a more digital approach, and online shopping rates skyrocketed.
What Did this Mean for Call Centers?
The shift to almost 100% online purchasing throughout the pandemic impacted the call center industry significantly, with difficult calls increasing by 50% and hold times increasing by 34%. In a survey performed by Mckinsey & Company, executives from across the globe indicated that at least 80% of their customer care interactions are digital in nature, which was not the case prior to the pandemic.
As our world becomes more virtual, with permanent remote workforces and an increase in remote customer interactions, brands are making changes to the way they strategically plan. One trend seen consistently across industries is the increase in funding for digital transformation initiatives. According to McKinsey & Company, more than 50% of brands are investing in digital strategies today for a competitive advantage or to refocus their entire business around digital technology. In comparison, a similar survey in 2017 indicated the same percentage were implementing digital strategies solely for the associated cost savings.
What Does this Trend Towards Digital Investment Mean?
Investing in tech solutions can help improve both the customer and employee experience simultaneously. By implementing technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI), you can bring additional quality and speed to the user’s experience. For example, AI can be used to aggregate customer data and apply it across various CRMs and systems, and can also showcase relevant information to a customer service associate in real-time to assist with an interaction.
More consumers want to interact with brands wherever and whenever, resulting in a growing need for omnichannel communication. When a consumer reaches out for support multiple times on different devices or channels, AI can share information from the previous interaction with an associate, improving the consistency and personalization of the communications. This approach ensures customer interactions are part of a larger, comprehensive brand experience, rather than a standalone activity.
By increasing the use of AI in tandem with human call center associates, metrics including employee satisfaction, operational efficiency, productivity and CSAT can improve by more than 60%. Technology companies of today, such as Laivly, were built for that exact reason: to streamline processes, improve customer interactions, drive efficiency, and ultimately enhance overall satisfaction for both employees and customers.
Where to Next?
The digital transformation trend is here to stay. From enhancing self-service tool capabilities to IVRs that feature voice recognition, there’s no doubt that digital solutions in the customer care industry will continue to advance at a rapid pace. As consumer demands continue to increase in complexity, it’s extremely important to evolve your contact center operations through investment in digital solutions.